One preteen and two teens are the oldest of our eight children. Being the mom of kids who will leave the nest in a few short years is daunting for sure. It makes me wonder if we’re doing enough to equip? to teach? to prepare?
I think we are. It’s natural to question yourself — I mean — we’re no experts. It’s healthy to question yourself to a point. We have the best of intentions and are leading with our kids’ eternal outcome in mind — so I think we’re okay. But there are no guarantees about how our kids will turn out, of course.
The world wants to chew our kids up once they leave our homes. Actually, the world wants to chew our kids up right now.
This shouldn’t scare us (though it does a little, doesn’t it?) It should empower us.
I had an epiphany several months ago and it gave me hope in an area I’d previously been wracked with fear over. I was lamenting about the horrors that await my sons (and daughters) as they grow into making even more choices for themselves in the teen years and on into adulthood. The shady and downright evil side of the internet and other forms of media are there waiting for them should they choose that path.
I was completely distraught at the thought of my beloved children sabotaging their lives (at least for a time) and future relationships. What would they do with it all? It all just seemed too awful — too much.
And then one day it came to me.
Our kids can and do have the ability to say no to these things just like us. They have the chance to side-step the poor choices that were possibly made by us. They can put accountability partners in place, install internet filters, and be careful about what they watch and listen to.
Our kids are working out their own struggles and triumphs in their own lives just like us.
Yes we want to protect them. Yes we’ll want to teach and model good things. Yes we can lead them to God’s Word and help them begin a relationship with God through Jesus.
But we can’t live their lives for them and we can’t keep them under a rock.
We can’t give up either.
We can’t give up and let the world have them just because it’s hard. Of course it’s hard. Anything worthwhile is difficult — grueling even.
God loves our kids.
He loves them as His children.
He is with them.
He is with us.
He will guide and speak to their hearts just like He does ours.
I love what author Paul Tripp says in his book Age of Accountability,
“We must believe that Jesus came so that each of us would be freed from the desires of our sinful nature so that we may serve him and him alone. This includes our teenagers.”
Yes. Absolutely. Amen. May we trust God to be faithful in the lives of our teens as He always has been in ours.
In the weeks that follow, Anne-Renee and I will be continuing on this topic of teenagers. Won’t you come back and join us for the next two weeks?
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